Bioinformatics outsourcing poised for growth

By Kirsty Barnes

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Biology Dna Drug discovery Bioinformatics

Outsourcing is expected to emerge as a definitive trend in the
bioinformatics industry, according to a new report by Frost &

Bioinformatics has evolved from being solely a science of comparison and analysis of gene and protein sequences to a more advanced tool that eliminates the need to perform long and sometimes potentially hazardous experimentation.

The use of this exciting technology is expected to become a necessity for life science and biopharma firms as they seek to streamline the drug discovery process and reduce the cost and time required to bring a medicine from research stage to market, at a time when this process is more expensive and complex than ever before.

However, "using IT to solve scientific problems is extremely challenging and requires an in-depth knowledge of living systems, an all round understanding of structural, functional and regulatory processes in living systems as well as familiarity with advanced computational power,"​ said Frost & Sullivan research analyst Sumitha Kannan.

"Strategic partnerships and outsourcing will be the business models that will ensure success."

As a result the bioinformatics market is increasingly becoming extremely service driven and is positioned to achieve its maximum potential over the next three to seven years as biotechnology companies with bioinformatics operations, software firms in bioinformatics, as well as core computer hardware, peripherals and IT companies all diversify into this area, said the report.

One of the major challenges in the market then will be to achieve cost competitiveness, while simultaneously providing customised solutions.

Introducing new technologies or improving existing products to meet evolving needs and providing more product features will help market participants make competitive gains, said the report, titled: "Opportunities for Outsourcing Bioinformatics (Europe)."

"Constant monitoring of new products entering the market and of changing customer preferences will be central to acquiring a leadership position in the bioinformatics market,"​ said Ms Kannan.

"With rising demand for complete solutions encompassing training, installation, maintenance and upgrades, participants should aim at providing clients comprehensive services."

Incidentally, the Bioimaging Facility at the University of Manchester has just announced the purchase of three new Nikon eC1 confocal microscopes, to cope with "increasing demand for its imaging services."

The organisation said that two of the microscopes will be equipped with electron multiplying charge-coupled device (EMCCD) monochrome digital cameras - offering single photon sensitivity - allowing it to add Total Internal Reflectance Fluorescence (TIRF) to the array of techniques it makes provides for the Faculty of Life Sciences and external organisations.

"This (cellular imaging) has been our biggest growth area by a long way over the past year and a half and we know there is a huge market for this out there," Nikon spokesperson Chay Keogh told

"Our plans for the next few years will take us down this route quite heavily."

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